Islamabad: Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi arrived in Pakistan today on a day-long visit with a high- powered delegation ahead of a three-day official visit to India.
Mursi was welcomed with a 21-gun salute on arrival at Nur Khan airbase.
He was given a guard of honour at the presidency.
Footage on state-run television showed Mursi flanked by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at the ceremony.
This is the first bilateral visit by an Egyptian leader to Pakistan since the 1960s, when the late Gamal Abdel Nasser travelled to the country. Mursi is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Zardari.
"President Mursi's decision to choose Pakistan as the first South Asian country for a bilateral visit manifests Egypt's desire to add a new chapter to its bilateral ties with Pakistan," said a statement issued earlier by the Foreign Office.
The visit is being seen as "a watershed and a landmark in the traditional and friendly relations between the two large and important Muslim countries,"the statement said.
Mursi's engagements in Islamabad include a one-on-onemeeting with Zardari, delegation-level talks and a banquet hosted by the Pakistani President.
"The two leaders are expected to hold extensive discussions on all areas of bilateral relations, including regional and international issues of mutual interest. They would also be signing a number of agreements," said Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
The Egyptian President and his high-level delegation of ministers and business leaders are scheduled to visit India during March 18-21.
Mursi was earlier scheduled to visit Islamabad in November to participate in the Developing Eight Summit but cancelled his programme due to the situation in Gaza.